Networking

Amazon sidewalk: what is it, what is it for and what are its maain features?

Amazon is a company that is always looking to bring innovations and new technologies to its community. For this reason, it has now surprised us with a new connection protocol that allows us to have a great coverage with a greater frequency.

The main idea of ​​this innovation is to solve those loose ends that cannot be reached by the technologies that we already know, such as Wi-Fi . This is one of the most current news, and it is considered to be the technological revolution .

If you are interested in knowing more about this technology, how it works and its qualities that make it unique, we invite you to read below, because in this post we leave you everything you need so that you are aware of this innovation.

What is Amazon Sidewalk and what is this new technology for?

Last time, at a hardware event in Seattle, Amazon launched a big announcement, and it was that Sidewalk was coming, a totally new protocol, under the broadband and long distance connection, developed in order to connect all of them more efficiently. devices inside or outside our house.

Amazon argues that this innovation seeks to solve the problems that Bluetooth and Wi-Fi can not solve, and this being the one that consumes the least compared to 5G, which is very complex and has a high cost.

“We came up with something we call the Amazon Sidewalk,” said Amazon’s chief device officer Dave Limp.

This is a new, totally free, low-bandwidth network with an existing 900 megahertz spectrum over the air, he mentioned that according to studies, it is the most suitable to keep track of things and always keep them updated.

Although, being something new still, there are some details that can be improved. But Amazon says it is totally useful for connecting devices up to a mile away, always depending on the location of the base station and the devices .

Amazon for now announced that it will publish the protocol, and it will allow time for different manufacturers to be able to integrate into this connection and connect between the different devices.

From what little is known we can say that it is the evolution for the connection that will allow us to advance in a big way in this era that we live in.

What are the main features of Amazon’s wireless networking protocol?

Amazon claims that devices called the Internet of Things can do many things more efficiently if they had a better wireless connection. This makes life easier for us, when we place sensors in places where we need to constantly check the status or situation.

All this is better understood by knowing some of its characteristics:

Frequency band used

Its function is to expand the coverage, with a frequency band of 900MHz. Its signal will attenuate very little and it is capable of passing its frequency over the walls, causing a bounce until it reaches the destination.

Another very important aspect, as we already mentioned, is the little energy it consumes, since IoT devices will not have to use a lot of energy to achieve a stable connection, so it would not matter if the devices have small rechargeable batteries.

Among Amazon’s plans is to publish this great network protocol, which will undoubtedly serve to increase its connection range between different devices.

Speed ​​and coverage

IoT devices have great speed, that is, they do not need it. Since an IoT device itself only receives and sends a package of instructions, such as turning the light on or off, checking for moisture somewhere, or other basic activities.

It is a protocol above all for those devices that require more activities, where it can even include the firmware update automatically. In itself, more than speed, this protocol offers greater coverage .

Amazon Sidewalk Mesh

This feature is very interesting because with this new Amazon protocol, a mesh network is sought. In other words, a network where everyone around can connect with each other, this with the aim of increasing the wireless coverage that connected IoT devices are going to provide us.

Amazon has managed to verify that the important thing for good communication is not the speed but the signal or coverage, so he shows that, with a coverage of several access points up to 500 meters, it will allow us to have a better experience .

Mesh guarantees us that the more houses or more points there are, the better coverage we will have between the IoT devices .

Amazon Sidewalk vs WiFi Which is better and how are they different?

As we know, Amazon seeks to implement a technology that reaches a greater ground in terms of coverage, while Wi-Fi offers more than everything is a higher speed. But to give more detail read below.

Safety

Amazon seeks to implement a better security system when communicating and transmitting data, so that these are not altered. For this reason, its frequency in some places is higher than that of Wi-Fi. On the other hand, Wi-Fi offers a secure connection but not enough, because it leaves many gaps where it exposes us to threats, so the Sidewalk is better in comparison.

Scope

As we’ve mentioned enough already, and will continue to do so, Sidewalk efficiently covers this big problem that Wi-Fi has failed to do. Amazon’s view is that a device with greater coverage and greater range has better communication and the rest ties in with it. Let us also remember that Amazon has designed this technology for IoT devices.

Velocity

For now, the main objective of Amazon is not fast communication or fast data transmission, because as we already mentioned, its objective is to provide a greater range for connection and communication between devices, and it is logically that a good speed is useless when its coverage does not it is enough .

What other protocols for alternative IoT devices to Amazon Sidewalk are there?

There are different protocols that can also fulfill the same functions or with the similar characteristics of Amazon Sidewalk. Such qualities are: great coverage and low energy consumption in the different connected devices; In addition, thanks to the coverage it offers, many more activities can be requested at the same time.

Zigbee

This is a wireless communication protocol that is based on the 802.15.4 coding standard of wireless networks, whose objective is to achieve a secure communication with wide wireless coverage and with a little low power consumption, because it is specifically focused on IoT devices. .

Another important feature of this protocol is that it also incorporates mesh network technologies, known as Mesh. It even provides easy integration, as it allows us to manufacture connection nodes with very little electronics.

Zigbee allows us to connect to a maximum of 65535 nodes, which are distributed in smaller networks. This typology can be star and even tree.

This type of low-frequency band technology, in order to improve coverage, normally uses a frequency in Europe of 868 MHz and 915 MHz in the US, although on some occasions it can use 2.4GHz. It is a free protocol throughout the world, where it does not need specific developers to be used.

Zigbee offers a coverage of a maximum of 100 meters, with a data rate of 250Kbps, being enough to do basic tasks on IoT devices, and even update the firmwares of the equipment. If we use an 868 MHz band in Europe, the patrol speed would be 20Kbps.

Within the Zigbee technology there are other sub-devices, where the coordinator is in charge of controlling the network as such, as well as the paths so that the devices can connect to them; the router is the one that interconnects with the devices that are separated by the network topology. In other words, it is in charge of routing the traffic, thus avoiding a collapse in the networks.

The last sub-device is the end device, known as IoT, which are in charge of wirelessly connecting the routers directly with the coordinator, this being the basis of everything.

LoRa

This is a wireless communication protocol that uses a frequency of 800 and 900 MHz, in order to expand coverage, a quality that improves communication. The coverage can reach up to a distance of 5 km in urban areas, these areas being where the interference is greater, and in remote places with a range of up to 15 km .

Compared to Zigbee, it uses less power, with a round speed of 0.3 to 22 Kbps with LoRA modulation, but can be increased to 100 Kbps using GFSK. LoRA’s network topology is very similar to that of Zigbee as they connect directly to IoT devices.

But using this protocol brings with it some disadvantages, such as speed, network size (it is limited) and it is not the most ideal for real-time applications that require minimal latency. Of course, it provides great efficiency to avoid interference .

DECT

This is one of the best known protocols, because it is the most standard allowing digital wireless connection in a correct way. Today most of the cordless phones we buy have this technology, because it is the most suitable for connecting to the base, sending and receiving information.

This standard has a frequency of 1900 MHz in Europe, with a speed of approximately 32 Kbps and a range of up to 300 meters. One of the most important manufacturers such as AVM FRITZ , has been using this technology in its wireless routers (Wi-Fi) for many years now, with functions beyond simply connecting cordless phones.

NB-IoT

NB-IoT is one of the most widely used 3GPP networks for the Internet of Things, this technology being dependent on 2G, 3G, 4G or 5G networks , promoting greater wireless coverage to devices, and is the response of the 3GPP protocols like Zigbee and LoRA as we have shown above.

This type of technology is mainly focused on a coverage for interior spaces, with a low price. It extends to the maximum the autonomy of the batteries of the devices, in other words it does not need a high power consumption.

LTE-M

LTE-M is a protocol very similar to the previous one, one of its advantages being the high download and upload speed, reaching up to 1Mbps. It is widely used in M2M communications, a sector where it enjoys great popularity. But the difference is the cost, which is much higher than that of NB-IoT .

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